Book Review-Broken-Vows


Broken Vows

(Broken Vows Trilogy Book 1)

by

Marty Langenberg

Before I go any further I must declare that I know and worked with Marty for several years before he retired.  However, I believe this has not clouded my review. 

‘Broken Vows’ is Book 1 of the ‘Broken Vows Trilogy’.  ‘Broken Vows’ refers to the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, which Catholic priests take, before they are ordained.

 

The opening of ‘Broken Vows’ sees three young men studying to be  priests and discussing, at length, the meaning of these Vows.  To say they come up with some interesting definitions of each Vow is understatement.  These definitions combined with the Bishop’s view of simply moving priests to another parish when their warped proclivities were discovered and reported, provides an interesting opening to ‘Broken Vows’

 

 ‘Broken Vows’ is about these priests and a family with three boys at a Catholic boy’s boarding school in a time when children were to be seen and not heard.  The seen and not heard comment applied especially if the child’s actions or thoughts could bring humiliation on family or school.  The boys’ father often used the phrase “…these things don’t happen in Catholic schools…” and was more concerned with his family’s public persona than his boy’s well-being.  This attitude resulted in the worst possible outcome for the family…followed by their eldest son leaving school without a word to anyone.

 

‘Broken Vows’ was a bit close to home for me for various reasons.  I did attend a Catholic all boys’ boarding school during the sixties.   Staff names were similar to some of those appearing in ‘Broken Vows’.  We also had several boys disappear overnight as in ‘Broken Vows’.  We all believed the version of their absence provided by the Rector without question.  I don’t know of any rumours that may link any of our staff to the ‘Broken Vows’ activities.  But how would we have known?  Asking the Rector would have been out of the question.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Broken Vows’ and scenarios put forward by Marty.  I felt ‘Broken Vows’ was fast paced and it was definitely one of those books which saw me wanting to read on into the early hours of the morning.

 

Attending a Catholic Boarding School is not a pre-requisite to enjoy ‘Broken Vows’‘Broken Vows’ could have been set within any Denomination and still been an enjoyable read.

I have already read and reviewed ‘Pennie’, a short story prequel to Book 2 of the Broken Vows Trilogy.   May I suggest you do likewise?

I have rated ‘Broken Vows’ a solid four star read and added one more for an outstanding debut novel.

To date, no other Goodreads readers have rated or reviewed ‘Broken Vows’.

 Aread.

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Broken Vows

can be purchased on-line at 

Amazon, Barnes & Noble,

Kobo, OverDrive

 

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Book Review-Pennie


Pennie

(Broken Vows Trilogy #1.5)

by

Marty Langenberg

Pennie is a prequel to The Baby Farm which is book 2 of the Broken Vows trilogy and tells us of Pennie’s background; the how and why she came to be in Orange (New South Wales) in Book 1, Broken Vows.

Before proceeding any further I must state that I am not a fan of short stories.  Any I have read seem to pique my interest and the next page, like a Perry Mason script (which shows my age), the story ends in a few sentences.

 My initial reaction to Pennie was that I had read much of this before either from the blurb or as Pennie retold her story to Steve/Des in Broken Vows.

Pennie became more interesting as it progressed to Pennie’s hitchhiking days and as mentioned previously ended rather abruptly.  I do hope Pennie’s character is featured in later books as I think she could be expanded upon and interesting story lines could revolve around her.

Pennie was an enjoyable read and worthy of a solid three star rating.

At the time of writing no other Goodreads Readers had rated or reviewed Pennie.

 A solidread.

36485457

Pennie

can be purchased on-line at 

AmazonBarnes & Noble,

Kobo, OverDrive

I must declare that I know and worked with Marty for several years before his retirement.  Little did I know he was a closet author. 🙂  However, my review is genuine…as are all my reviews.  

Book Review-A-Head-Full-of-Ghosts

A Head Full of Ghosts

by

Paul Tremblay

A Head Full of Ghosts was one of those books you wonder what possessed you to borrow it….almost from the first paragraph.

However the stubborn streak in me ensured that I persisted for nearly an hour and I was still none the wiser regarding what the plot, if any was about.  The author seemed ramble on and on about the main character and her sister.

Again, I note, this story was being told by the main character and books written in the first person should be avoided in my humble opinion.

The five or six chapters of A Head Full of Ghosts was disjointed to say the least.  However, I have just read the blurb again online and the lead character, fourteen year old, Marjorie apparently displays signs of schizophrenia.  Marjorie’s condition gets worse, a priest try to help out and fifteen years later the younger sister is interviewed about Marjorie’s illness and its effects on the family.

Most of the previous paragraph can be found in the blurb as I did not stick around long enough to get to fifteen years later.  One thing I have noted on the blurb is that Stephen King described the book as ‘…scaring the hell  out of me…’  I am a Stephen King fan but will not be drawn in by blurbs any more.   However, schizophrenia is a scary illness.

I am joining just 2% (429) other Goodreads readers who rated A Head Full of Ghosts in this category.

Maybe I will try it again another day.

I have rated

A Head Full of Ghosts

 Image result for A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

as aread.

My one star certainly runs against the tide of

Goodreads readers have rated

A Head Full of Ghosts

an average of 3.81 stars from 20,754 ratings and 3,324 reviews

A Head Full of Ghosts

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

 

Book Review-Kraken-Rising

Kraken Rising

(Alex Hunter #6)
by

Greig Beck

 

I once read an author’s review of his book, set in Antarctica, in which he stated that a continent largely unexplored could be the setting for all manner of books.  It may have been Alex Hunter’s first visit to the Antarctic continent.  I do not remember.

Kraken Rising has been sitting on my reading list for some time now and I am not sure why I did not read it at an earlier date.  Kraken Rising has all the pace and intrigue as any of Greg Beck’s previous books.

With the world on the brink of nuclear war it is up to Arcadian and his team to save the day.  And it is not only the world Arcadian is trying to save this time round, it is also the mother of his son who has been sent to Antarctica find Arcadian who is of prime concern.

Likening the monster to modern day animal was a stroke of genius and I don’t think I will ever go near the beach again.  Cephalopods, at least the octopus, do have a beak and when this monster’s beak came chasing our heroes…well, just close your eyes and imagine.

Throw in reports of missing ships, boats and sailors in Australia’s Bass Strait, a Strait which has never been more than a forty-minute drive from home, and we have enough facts to substantiate another great plot.

******

I think

Kraken Rising

 Image result for Kraken Rising

is a

read.

In 2017,

Goodreads readers have rated

Kraken Rising

 an average of 4.24 stars from

531 ratings and 54 reviews.

I am also surprised that so few have bothered

to rate and review this novel.

 

Kraken Rising

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

Book Review-The-Blue-Mile

The Blue Mile

by

Kim Kelly

While I have grouped The Blue Mile in the General Fiction category, it is said, on the blurb to be an historical fiction novel, which I suppose is, as it takes place at the start of Australia’s Great Depression in the early 1930s.  The Blue Mile refers to the stretch of water, in Sydney Harbour, between the homes of lead characters, Yo O’Keenan and Miss Olivia Greene.

O’Kennan and Greene must overcome their Irish Catholic and English backgrounds and also in the mix is O’Kennan’s young sister who he has taken with him to escape an abusive home environment.

O’Kennan manages to find work building latter stages of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.   This is not ongoing work and upon its conclusion his Irish pride sees his life appear to fall apart.

However, we all know that young love will win out over adversity.  In this case it is a matter of how that is going to happen.

My only negative comment about this novel, and it has more to do with the narrator than the author, was that the male voices working on the Harbour Bridge seemed to be shouting whenever they spoke.  This may have been to convey to the listener a sense of the type of men working in that environment.  I found these gruff voice characterisations a minor irritation in an otherwise enjoyable novel.   That said, I do believe that the idea of unskilled labourers working on the Bridge was thoroughly conveyed by the narrator James Harvy, to his audience.

The audio version to which I listened was narrated alternately by Zoe Ellerton-Ashley and James Harvy.   Overall, I enjoyed their narrations, character voices and the perspective each character put on the same situation.

 

This was my first Kim Kelly novel and it will not be my last as I have just found and downloaded Paper Daisies and This Red Earth, also by Kim Kelly.

I think

The Blue Mile

 The Blue Mile

is a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

The Blue Mile

 an average of 3.8 stars from

150 ratings and 40 reviews

 

The Blue Mile

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

Book Review-The-Orphan’s-Tale

The Orphan’s Tale

by

Pam Jenoff

 

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff is a heart-warming story about two women and their encounters with the Nazi regime during World War II.

Both are banished from their family homes for entirely different reasons and although there is quite an age difference they form a mutual bond.

One is accomplished circus aerial artist, the other a lost young girl who finds her way to circus life where it eventually becomes her home also.

They look forward to the day their circus goes on the road.  However, they find that they are being told where to perform and the even though they have crossed the border into France they are not safe from the Nazi regime of the time.

How and why Noa, and Astrid are banished and learn to share a circus life together is a heart wrenching part of their tale.  And theirs is a very rocky road to real friendship and trust.

This was my first Pam Jenoff read and I have since finished another of her novels.

 

I have rated

The Orphan’s Tale

 Image result for The Orphan's Tale

a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

The Orphan’s Tale

an average of 4.03 stars from

15,806 ratings and 2,017 reviews

The Orphan’s Tale

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

 

Book Review-The-List

The List

by

Steve Martini

When I began this book I had no idea or preconceptions to what the title was referring.

However, it did not lake long before that became clear and book quickly developed into a quick, fast paced page turner.

It is an entertaining book about the media industry.  The interesting thing about this book is that the plot is happening…..now!

This was my second Steve Martini book.  I have since read a third, The Arraignment in 2017.  To  date, Martini’s books have remained interesting and fresh with a twist on the title.

Yes, I will be seeking more.

I think

The List

 Image result for the list martini

is definitely a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

The List

 an average of 3.95 stars from 11,919 ratings and 145 reviews

The List

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon